Things you should read (or hear)

“Some people cannot handle
a woman
on the loose”

It got cold this week, and as I’ve been cutting out the constant distraction of social media, I’ve been reading a lot more deeply instead. I wanted to share some of these with you. They’re not all tarot-related, they’re just… beautiful.

You should spend some time with them.

Sara Blackthorne

I’ve been reading Sara’s words for a year or so, but recently there has been a series of incredibly personal, deeply dark, touching, harrowing and beautiful pieces appearing on her newly-redesigned blog.

Sara is going through a serious *process* in her writing right now and the parts of this journey she shares are an incredible read. [Trigger warnings: childhood abuse.]

Ragged Poet

Bobby and I have been in touch recently as I shared her hand-made tarot bags last week. But there is so much more to Bobby’s blog than tarot and crafts. She is an incredible person, a mother, a student, an artist, someone living life thoughtfully and with so much love. Her posts are short but always really touching and thought-provokingly human.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Leah’s been on my radar for years and I interviewed her recently for Autostraddle… but until very recently there was nowt happning on her blog. Now, however, it’s all lit up! Leah has been posting loads of interesting, personal and really damn intelligent articles lately, which you should read immediately.

Mandy Steward

Mandy is an artist and an online facilitator of a creative movement. She has built a community of women and a space into which everyone feels safe to bare their souls through writing and art. Of all the wonderful words she brings together, though, I like her own writing the best.

Zodwa Nyoni

I first heard Zodwa Nyoni at a spoken word night in Bradford and she blew me away. It’s hard to find Zodwa’s writing online, but you can find plenty of videos on Youtube. Here she is reading an incredible poem written in the imagined voice of David Oluwale, a Black man tormented and killed by two British police officers.

Staceyann Chin

Approximately fifteen minutes after I added Zodwa’s video to this post, an email popped into my inbox recommending another stunning poem-video.

Here is Staceyann Chin reading Feminist or Womanist. It is astounding. It will blow apart every assupmtion you ever held about identity…especially the identity of others. I was transfixed.

The Ballad of the Sad Cafe

By Carson McCullers. This is my favourite book of all time. This isn’t an internet link, it’s an actual book you can hold in your hands. It will break your heart just like it breaks mine every time and is breaking it every evening right now.


You might know that I write the tarot column for this website. The reason I do this is because it is literally my favourite website in the world. Ever. It’s not just a damn massive well-written blog filled with LGBTQ news and projects and ideas and obituaries and recipes and reviews and how-tos and gossip and deep personal essays and lists and intersectional progressive politics at every level, it’s also a community of queers who talk to and support each other, who contribute, who belong there like nowhere else.

What is this amazing book

So many bloggy websites talk about ‘building your tribe’ (ew – let’s not even get onto the ‘tribe’ thing) – I think what they’re after but can never come close to is the feeling of belonging to a community who gets it, who speaks your language, who supports your right to be shamelessly who you are and love the things (and people) you love.

Loads of new posts go up daily – it’s part of my morning coffee to read through the latest.

So what have you been reading? Share a link or three!

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  1. raggedpoet says:

    Great post beth, I will def check these links. I love Autostraddle, it really is a warm and comfortable place to hang out.

    My current regular visits usually include:

    Fabulous juicy site that always leads me off the beaten track… warning…time consuming a great one for Sunday mornings!

    Because one year I am going to crack this and I like to join all the frooha in the lead up each year and kid myself I will do it this time!

    The purple page… 🙂 The home of Tarot on the web!

    And thanks for the shout out my friend xo

    PS Is that your book shelf? I love the Alfred Watkins book… I went to his house once… have you heard of an author called Phil Rickman? he writes awesome paranormal unique style thrillers and Watkins comes up a lot, as does the late great Nick Drake… I must do a post about Phil actually, once the next 3 weeks of college are out I can chill and post about other loves and interests!

    • Beth says:

      Wow, great list Bobby! I really love Brainpickings too.

      Nope, not my bookshelf. I currently don’t have a bookshelf – no room on’t boot! The photo is of Lyall’s Bookshop in Todmorden, they change their window display every week and have some amazing things. When I lived there I ended up taking a photo each week, they always put something interesting in the window 🙂

      That’s amazing you’ve met Alfred Watkins…because I’ve never heard of him. I didn’t even pay any attention to the book behind the one I was photographing. And somehow through the misty forest of the internet you’ve spotted that and told me you’ve been to his house for a brew.

      This world is so strange and brilliant! xxxx

      • Bobby says:

        No I didn’t meet him, he is long dead… but I have seen his house and read some of his stuff on leylines! I wish, now that’s worth a short story methinks…!!

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